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Boson-Sampling in the light of sample complexity

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Mathematical Challenges in Quantum Information

Boson-Sampling is a classically computationally hard problem that can – in principle – be efficiently solved with linear quantum optical networks. Very recently, a rush of experimental activity has ignited with the aim of developing such devices as feasible instances of quantum simulators. Even approximate Boson-Sampling is believed to be hard with high probability if the unitary describing the optical network is drawn from the Haar measure. In this work we show that in this setup, with probability exponentially close to one in the number of bosons, no symmetric algorithm can distinguish the Boson-Sampling distribution from the uniform one from fewer than exponentially many samples. This means that the two distributions are operationally indistinguishable without detailed a priori knowledge. We carefully discuss the prospects of efficiently using knowledge about the implemented unitary for devising non-symmetric algorithms that could potentially improve upon this. We conclude that due to the very fact that Boson-Sampling is believed to be hard, efficient classical certification of Boson-Sampling devices seems to be out of reach.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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